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vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for fredericksburg.com and The Free Lance-Star.

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Behind the Economic Analysis

As many of you already know, the Stafford County Board of Supervisors spent $25,000 to hire Dr. Stephen Fuller (Dwight Schar Faculty Chair and University Professor / Director for Regional Analysis, George Mason University) to perform an economic analysis/comparison on the 2008 and 2010 proposed comprehensive plans.

He presented his findings to the board last month, and will address the board again this evening. He recently circulated a more complete report. I only have the report in Microsoft Word format, which is not compatible with this here blog post. I’ll try to get it reformatted and posted here as soon as I can. Check it here.

This is the end of Fuller’s conclusion:

“In the final analysis, the fiscal impacts associated with the proposed 2008 and 2010 comprehensive plans are small and the net fiscal differences between the two plans are insufficient by themselves to determine which plan is better for the County.  Fiscal impact is only one measure by which these planning alternatives should be judged.  The bigger question is what should the future of Stafford County look like?  Twenty years from now, the land use pattern put in place today will have shaped the County’s future and its ability to compete for the economic development and investment necessary to support an increasing quality of public services and a advancing economic base that will favor higher value added employment opportunities within the County making it less of a bed-room suburb and more of an employment center.”

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2010/10/19/behind-the-economic-analysis/

  • Dean Fetterolf

    Dr Fuller’s economic analysis of the Stafford Comp Plan are at best an “end game” scenario for 20 years of growth at a rate never before experienced in Stafford and oddly enough are compared to a single year (2009) of county economics during a recession and not a sustained period of growth.

    Dr Fuller calculated the county population based upon an undocumented mix of housing types and numbers supplied by staff in Table 1 under the favored 2010 plan as 83,988. He is missing 10,618 persons according to the VEC
    population projection in Table 6 .7 of new Comp Plan. (218,772 – 124,166=94,606-83,988=10,618).

    The starting assumptions which form the basis for Dr Fuller’s entire $25K project do not yield results that are consistent with the 2010 plan he was paid to support. Either the initial assumptions are wrong or the proprietary economic analysis methodology is flawed.

    Furthermore, Dr Fuller ignored the transportation and infrastructure costs.

    Significant amendments have been made to the June 17th version of the Comprehensive plan previously submitted to VDOT for what was described to me by a VDOT Land use official as a “courtesy review”. In fact, more than 20,000 words have been changed. Including the addition of a 6400 word notional transportation plan.

    Lets just list a few of those plan deficiencies that would further impact Dr Fuller’s conclusions if he had done a real economic analysis:

    1. Where are the required plans, capacity and revenue for the $2B in roads?

    2. Why are the costs for locating UDAs in greenfields expanding costly water and sewer?

    3. Who will pay for 17 new schools at todays costs of $505M?

    4. What would the results have been if the true build out numbers, removed from the plan were used?